Top PERM Adjudication Issues: What Practitioners Need to Know


By Imagility

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PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) is a critical step in the employment-based immigration process, particularly for obtaining green cards through labor certification. Navigating this PERM labor certification process can be tricky for immigration practitioners. The Department of Labor (DOL) closely examines every application, so it is important to understand common issues. This blog outlines the top PERM adjudication issues and provides practical tips to ensure a smooth application process.

1. Job Description and Requirements

Job requirements that are too specific can raise red flags. The DOL checks to make sure job descriptions aren’t tailored to the foreign worker’s unique qualifications.

Solution: Write job descriptions that reflect the typical requirements for the job without being too specific. Make sure the job requirements match the actual duties and be justifiable based on industry standards, in order to avoid potential challenges during adjudication.

2. Recruitment Process

Issue: PERM requires employers to demonstrate that they have actively recruited for the position and conducted a diligent search to find qualified U.S. workers. Problems often arise from not following recruitment guidelines, such as incorrect advertisements or poor documentation of recruitment efforts.

Solution: Follow the DOL’s criteria for recruitment. Place ads in the right places, clearly state the job title, duties, and requirements, and keep detailed records of all recruitment activities. This has to include resumes received and reasons for disqualifying candidates.

3. Prevailing Wage Determination

Issue: Getting the wrong prevailing wage determination or not paying the required wage can result in application denial. Issues arise when the PWD is not correctly categorized or when discrepancies occur between the employer’s offered wage and the prevailing wage.

Solution: Request the prevailing wage determination carefully, making sure the job description and requirements match those in the PERM application. Pay the wage specified in the determination to avoid issues.

4. Experience and Qualifications

Issue: Misrepresenting or not adequately documenting the foreign worker’s experience and qualifications can lead to rejection.

Solution: Accurately document the foreign worker’s qualifications to ensure they meet the job requirements. Provide detailed letters from previous employers outlining job duties and duration of employment. Ensure all claims are verifiable.

5. Job Opportunity and Business Necessity

Issue: The DOL may question whether the job is genuine and necessary for the employer’s business.

Solution: Show that the job is a legitimate and essential part of the employer’s operations. If job requirements are unusual, explain why they are necessary for the business.

6. Audit and Supervised Recruitment

Issue: Being selected for an audit or supervised recruitment can delay the process and increase scrutiny.

Solution: Keep detailed records of all aspects of the PERM process, including recruitment efforts and prevailing wage compliance. Be prepared to respond promptly to audit or supervised recruitment requests.

7. Audit Responses and Challenges

Issue: In cases where a PERM application is audited, practitioners must respond promptly and comprehensively to the DOL’s requests for additional information. Issues may arise if audit responses are incomplete, inconsistent, or fail to address specific concerns raised by the DOL.

Solution: Develop an audit response strategy that anticipates potential areas of concern. Collaborate closely with your client to gather and submit all requested documentation within the specified timeframe.

8. Incorrect Information and Inconsistencies

Issue: Any incorrect information or inconsistencies between the PERM application and other filings can lead to denial.

Solution: Double-check all documents for accuracy and consistency. Ensure that information such as job title, duties, and work location matches across all immigration filings.

9. Documentation and Record-Keeping

Incomplete or inaccurate documentation is a common issue that can lead to PERM denials or audits. Practitioners must maintain meticulous records of all PERM-related activities, including recruitment efforts, job postings, resumes received, and any communications with applicants.

Solution: Implement a systematic approach to document management, utilizing immigration software like Imagility that offer secure cloud storage and document management features. Ensure that all documentation is organized, accessible, and up-to-date to facilitate compliance and mitigate risks during adjudication.


Handling PERM adjudication issues requires understanding the DOL’s requirements and being thorough in application preparation. By addressing these common issues proactively, practitioners can improve the chances of a successful PERM application and avoid delays or denials. Staying updated on the latest trends and changes in PERM adjudication practices is also essential for continued success.

By following these best practices and staying proactive, immigration practitioners can effectively manage PERM applications and navigate the complexities of the adjudication process.

Imagility can help streamline the entire PERM process. Get in touch with us at or call us at +1 603 782 4622/+1 617 865 6588, to understand how Imagility can digitize your law firm and enhance your immigration practice.

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